Released: May 16 2007
Received: Marvel Unlimited
Issues: Civil War: Young Avengers & Runaways 1-4
From the title it’s pretty oblivious that this is a tie-in volume, connecting the Runaways and the Young Avengers not just to each other, but to the events occurring during Civil War. At this point most people probably know the basics for what happened in Civil War, so as far as that’s concerned there isn’t a lot of extra reading required. As for the Young Avengers/Runaways parts; I read only the Runaways before this and had no problems understanding the context. I’m sure I would have gotten more references and understood the Young Avengers dynamics more had I read their backstory (it’s on the list), but it wasn’t really an issue for me.
One would think the Runaways, being you know, runaways would be paying a bit more attention to the news. Apparently not. They find themselves smack dab in the middle of the Civil War conflict after trying to help take down a supervillian. By doing so they unknowingly revealed themselves as unregistered heroes, which at that point in time was pretty illegal. This directly results in them actively being tracked down by multiple agencies, including (part of) the Avengers, SHIELD, and probably a few others that were not shown.
Victor gets pretty badly damaged during the escape – apparently he doesn’t count as a kid because he’s partially synthetic. Gives you a pretty good idea of just how good the “good guys” are. I think more than anything that’s what caught the attention of the Young Avengers – being kids themselves. Captain America basically had them sitting on the sidelines waiting and watching (which I can understand). So when Vision freaks out about Victor getting damaged…naturally they felt inclined to disobey orders and run off to help.
So that’s basically how the two different teams end up together. As far as tie-in plots go, it wasn’t a bad start. Of course, being all young and pretty rash, they end up misunderstanding each other’s intents and it takes a while for things to settle down. By which point the actual antagonist of the story (sent by Maria Hill) catches up with them and starts beating them pretty hard. He kicked butt and instead of taking names took hostages, resulting in half of both teams being abducted and taken to the Cube (yes, that cube).
The ones not captured (Nico, Chase, Molly, Victor, Vision, Cassie, and Speed) rally and manage to save the day. Obviously I’m cutting out a lot of the fighting here, but that sort of thing is better read/seen in action than summed up in a review. The Runaways chose to not going in the Civil War fight, as they never intended to be part of it in the first place. The way they see it, it’s a fight between adults and the adults never even bothered asking what side they were on before attacking them.
All in all it was a pretty short (four issues) and quick read, taking me only about a half hour to get through. I enjoyed seeing the interactions between the Young Avengers and the Runaways. Having two groups of the same age try and work together can always get pretty interesting (or sloppy, depending). Ultimately I actually agree with the Runaways choice of staying out of the fight. They’ve had enough pain and tragedy in their lives, there’s really no need to actively seek out more (and let’s be honest here, Civil War got pretty brutal).
This volume did a good job of showing just how easily and quickly a misunderstanding can turn into a fight (which thus could turn into a war). The Runaways tried to help some human guards (one of which is badly wounded) take down a supervillian, but instead they become targeted by the human backup that arrives. The Young Avengers sought out the Runaways with every intention of helping them, but instead because of snap judgment they end up in a fight with them instead. In both cases by standing on the sideline it’s easy to judge and say who was right and wrong, but if we were in the place of any of those people I feel like that would be less obvious; which really was part of the point of Civil War. This volume just managed to condense the point into just a few issues (Which is appreciated).